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Lewis Cribbs (1816–1895)

Lewis Cribbs arrived in Sydney as a convict from India. He arrived aboard the Seppings, with other convicts from India, in 1840. His age was given as 25; birthplace, Madras, India; and occupation indoor servant/coachman. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation for obtaining money under false pretenses.

In 1846 he was sentenced to nine months' labour in irons on the roads for stealing five dinner plates from a dwelling house.

He married Emma Baker in 1849. Although on his marriage certificate he gave his birthplace as England there is evidence that he was born in Madras and was an Anglo-Indian. In the same year he was married he spent another month in gaol but the charge was dismissed. He gave his occupation as bookbinder.

While he was in prison his wife left him for William Green. On his release, Cribbs took out a newspaper advertisement, absolving himself of any responsibility for his wife's debts.

Cribbs was again charged with theft in November 1851 but no sentence was recorded. In January 1852 he was sentenced to three years' hard labour for stealing a cheque from his employer. He was released from jail in 1853.

Cribbs moved to Maitland following his release from prison and began a relationship with Elizabeth Binkin. They were to have nine children, the youngest born in 1874. In 1858 he was working as a cook and by 1869 was a shepherd.

In 1877 a warrant was issued for the arrest of Cribbs for deserting his wife and leaving her without means of support. He was described as 58 years of age, 5 ft 10 ins tall, with a stout build, dark complexion, pearl in right eye, foreign accent; a cook or bushman.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Cribbs, Lewis (1816–1895)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Krebs, Lewis
  • Cribb, Lewis

12 April, 1816
Madras, India


25 August, 1895 (aged 79)
Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Convict Record

Crime: fraud
Sentence: 7 years